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    (Original post by Teebs)
    With all due respect, as an applicant what on earth do you base your theories on? Alleging that colleges tailor their admissions so that they shift around right-wing/left-wing types is really a very large accusation and one for which I see no evidence.
    Ok, so maybe i didnt explain my point very well.
    I was trying to state that colleges tailor their intake in such a way that students will feel at home in their college - a comment that was made by the admissions tutor at emmanuel (camb) when she explained why they took so many applicants from the pool.
    Also, colleges all have reputations for the students that graduate from that particular college, and over time this has lead to stereotypes. Maybe using political views was not the best example to use; however it is one that stands out more clearly than any other from my experiences when researching colleges.
    So what i was basically trying to say was that if you end up at a different college; the tutors themselves know which types of students fit in well at their college, and therefore their decision will be an experienced one, and that you will probably have be more suited to the college you end up. Thus you will enjoy it more.
    In one case i have spoken to an student who claimed that they fitted in (and subsequently spent most of their time) at an alternative college because they got on better with the students who were there.
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    (Original post by Funkachillislap)
    Ok, so maybe i didnt explain my point very well.
    I was trying to state that colleges tailor their intake in such a way that students will feel at home in their college - a comment that was made by the admissions tutor at emmanuel (camb) when she explained why they took so many applicants from the pool.
    Also, colleges all have reputations for the students that graduate from that particular college, and over time this has lead to stereotypes. Maybe using political views was not the best example to use; however it is one that stands out more clearly than any other from my experiences when researching colleges.
    So what i was basically trying to say was that if you end up at a different college; the tutors themselves know which types of students fit in well at their college, and therefore their decision will be an experienced one, and that you will probably have be more suited to the college you end up. Thus you will enjoy it more.
    In one case i have spoken to an student who claimed that they fitted in (and subsequently spent most of their time) at an alternative college because they got on better with the students who were there.
    Ok, but to put it bluntly you're wrong. Colleges might have particular characters in certain subjects in certain years and might have an overall reputation, but I, and I'm sure anyone else who has studied at Oxford, can assure you that colleges are certainly not homogeneous and that we have seen no evidence for any kind of social engineering in the types of people at them.
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    Ok then, well that is how i perceived the system; and is definitely an idea that the 6th form tutors at my school suggested (in that they convinced a friend of mine to change the college he was applying to because they felt he would have no chance). Along with comments made by students at Cambridge, graduates from Cambridge and Tutors and Admin at cambridge i dont think i could be as wrong as you are making out. Do you really think that tutors would admit a student who they believed would hate living at their college due to clashes in personalities?
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    cambridge ≠ oxford
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    (Original post by Funkachillislap)
    Ok then, well that is how i perceived the system; and is definitely an idea that the 6th form tutors at my school suggested (in that they convinced a friend of mine to change the college he was applying to because they felt he would have no chance).
    Spending a bit of time on this forum will illustrate to you just how little weight can be placed on such opinions from 6th form tutors.

    Along with comments made by students at Cambridge, graduates from Cambridge and Tutors and Admin at cambridge i dont think i could be as wrong as you are making out.
    Maybe, but we're both arguing from anecdote. Mine just happens to be rather more direct than yours since I'm speaking from personal experience.

    Do you really think that tutors would admit a student who they believed would hate living at their college due to clashes in personalities?
    Nope, but as I've said, I don't think clashes of personalities are an issue at any college. You may have misunderstood people saying that tutors might assign someone to a different college if there was a personality clash with them i.e. an individual thing. No college is in any way homogeneous enough for your kind of wide ideas of personality to be applicable.
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    (Original post by Funkachillislap)
    Ok then, well that is how i perceived the system; and is definitely an idea that the 6th form tutors at my school suggested (in that they convinced a friend of mine to change the college he was applying to because they felt he would have no chance). Along with comments made by students at Cambridge, graduates from Cambridge and Tutors and Admin at cambridge i dont think i could be as wrong as you are making out. Do you really think that tutors would admit a student who they believed would hate living at their college due to clashes in personalities?
    Tutors are completely unable to asses such things in an applicant during an interview. They are also unable to asses these stupid sterotypes you are talking about. They do not care, all they care about is the acedemic potential of the student, NOTHING ELSE.

    Unless you have experienced university life in all 30 colleges for at least 5 years in each, then you are in no position to comment on any college sterotypes.
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    (Original post by refref)
    Tutors are completely unable to asses such things in an applicant during an interview. They are also unable to asses these stupid sterotypes you are talking about. They do not care, all they care about is the acedemic potential of the student, NOTHING ELSE.

    Unless you have experienced university life in all 30 colleges for at least 5 years in each, then you are in no position to comment on any college sterotypes.
    While I generally agree with your first point, the bit that I italicised is ridiculous. Although I find the idea of applicants thinking they know all about college stereotypes and more importantly their impact on university life and admissions equally ridiculous.
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    (Original post by refref)
    Unless you have experienced university life in all 30 colleges for at least 5 years in each, then you are in no position to comment on any college sterotypes.
    So you think that you'd have to spend 150 years studying at Oxford before being able to discern any difference in character of colleges? Apart from anything else, I expect that over 150 years the college stereotypes would change significantly. I'm fairly sure I could comment reasonably well on Merton's stereotypes, despite only having been there for a term. That said, I think college stereotypes are hugely overplayed - everyone thinks that all Mertonians spend all their time in their rooms, which just isn't true. However, I think there is more of a "work hard, play hard" attitude at Merton than some other colleges, even if it's only a subtle difference.
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    (Original post by refref)
    Thats a silly anti arguement. I really dont get what you're trying to say.
    (Original post by Teebs)
    Bit of a poor analogy really.

    1) Torture is designed to be and universally acknowledged to be unpleasant. Contrary to some opinions, Oxford colleges are not.

    2) The comparison is between two extremely similar things, going to one Oxford college or going to another. Unlike your example where the difference is between torture and not torture.

    3) People who actually go to Oxford can tell you that if you enjoy one college you'd almost certainly enjoy all the others.

    You might have a better comparison if the question was going to Oxbridge v not going to Oxbridge, but between colleges, nope.
    All of your points just seem to be saying its too 'extreme' - that was the point of using such an analogy.

    The point is, whereas one cannot truly know what two differing experiences will be like, you can use the information given to make a judgement, and saying 'i didn't really want to go to that college' is a valid statement.
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    (Original post by Bezzler)
    So you think that you'd have to spend 150 years studying at Oxford before being able to discern any difference in character of colleges? Apart from anything else, I expect that over 150 years the college stereotypes would change significantly. I'm fairly sure I could comment reasonably well on Merton's stereotypes, despite only having been there for a term. That said, I think college stereotypes are hugely overplayed - everyone thinks that all Mertonians spend all their time in their rooms, which just isn't true. However, I think there is more of a "work hard, play hard" attitude at Merton than some other colleges, even if it's only a subtle difference.

    Well what I mean is that there could be one year at Merton where you will get a load of typical posh boys, just by chance, then everyone will say that Merton is the typical private school college.

    Why do you think that Merton has more of a work hard/play hard attitude compared to other colleges? These sterotypes just seem to be opinion, and other people will take them as facts.
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    (Original post by refref)
    Well what I mean is that there could be one year at Merton where you will get a load of typical posh boys, just by chance, then everyone will say that Merton is the typical private school college.

    Why do you think that Merton has more of a work hard/play hard attitude compared to other colleges? These sterotypes just seem to be opinion, and other people will take them as facts.
    Saying that you think that stereotypes don't really apply in reality is very different to saying that you need to have directly experienced every college for a certain period of time to comment on stereotypes.

    (Original post by nexttime)
    All of your points just seem to be saying its too 'extreme' - that was the point of using such an analogy.
    I don't see what you mean by this.

    The point is, whereas one cannot truly know what two differing experiences will be like, you can use the information given to make a judgement, and saying 'i didn't really want to go to that college' is a valid statement.
    And I think that the idea of the people disagreeing with you is that in many cases you will have no basis for making a statement about the relative enjoyment of different colleges. I suppose its validity depends on how you define valid, but your example remains silly.
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    (Original post by Harlequin Jester)
    Well done you For HAT results you have to email the Schools Liaison Officer rather than the individual colleges.
    Ah, that might have been where I was going wrong. I'd guess they've destroyed last year's records by now; shame, I was quite curious... Very well done on your offer all the same.

    (Also - I was under the impression that BNC has as many as 10 historians per year? In which case I can understand why you're bemused, at least if you assume that rankings like the one you were given are what tutors base their decisions on. I don't think I'm in a position to speculate, though.)
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    (Original post by Teebs)
    Saying that you think that stereotypes don't really apply in reality is very different to saying that you need to have directly experienced every college for a certain period of time to comment on stereotypes.
    Ok.

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    (Original post by refref)
    Well what I mean is that there could be one year at Merton where you will get a load of typical posh boys, just by chance, then everyone will say that Merton is the typical private school college.

    Why do you think that Merton has more of a work hard/play hard attitude compared to other colleges? These sterotypes just seem to be opinion, and other people will take them as facts.
    The fact that you seem to think stereotypes are ever changing suggest that maybe oxford is more different from Cambridge than i thought. Whereas you suggest that reputations change with every year of students; at Cambridge it seems to be implied whether it be because of legacy, reputation or trends that stereotypes live out much more than 5-10 years and if not indefinitely. Many of the Stereotypes i heard of when i was there for open days, are familiar to my dad's who studied there 30 years ago.

    For example Trinity college is known the for best mathematicians; and this is one example of how the reputation itself can self perpetuate the continuation of the reputation - due to the fact Trinity get the best mathmos, the best mathmos apply there; and subsequently they have the best mathmo's year on year.
    Also is the reputation of Kings - It has 70% state school kids; which has actually caused public education institutions to avoid applying there - to the extent that kings have specifically advertised that they are not biased against public schools; and that their intake fairly represents their application percentages. Due to this their % of state school positions has increased over the last few years. Are you saying this will die out? Because like Trinity's reputation, im sure it wont for a long time.

    And as for thinking the opinion that A level students will have no idea of stereotypes - surely, as it is for me, it will be fresh in their mind from the whole application process. I know when i thought about my college, and researched the others, i became very well aware of stereotypes.
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    (Original post by Funkachillislap)
    The fact that you seem to think stereotypes are ever changing suggest that maybe oxford is more different from Cambridge than i thought. Whereas you suggest that reputations change with every year of students; at Cambridge it seems to be implied whether it be because of legacy, reputation or trends that stereotypes live out much more than 5-10 years and if not indefinitely. Many of the Stereotypes i heard of when i was there for open days, are familiar to my dad's who studied there 30 years ago.
    Stereotypes do live out longer term trends at Oxford. See Wadham or Christchurch.

    And as for thinking the opinion that A level students will have no idea of stereotypes - surely, as it is for me, it will be fresh in their mind from the whole application process. I know when i thought about my college, and researched the others, i became very well aware of stereotypes.
    A level students might have heard some of the stereotypes, it doesn't mean they have any idea as to their validity. From my experience the average Oxbridge student uses stereotypes as a source of amusement, a kind of inter-college rivalry thing, not as something that is taken at all seriously.
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    (Original post by Teebs)
    Stereotypes do live out longer term trends at Oxford. See Wadham or Christchurch.



    A level students might have heard some of the stereotypes, it doesn't mean they have any idea as to their validity. From my experience the average Oxbridge student uses stereotypes as a source of amusement, a kind of inter-college rivalry thing, not as something that is taken at all seriously.
    I completely agree with the inter-college rivalry; and suppose i may have taken the idea of them a bit too literally.
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    (Original post by Teebs)
    I don't see what you mean by this.

    And I think that the idea of the people disagreeing with you is that in many cases you will have no basis for making a statement about the relative enjoyment of different colleges. I suppose its validity depends on how you define valid, but your example remains silly.
    Of course you take each source of info based on its individual merits, but statements like "you can't possibly know - you haven't experienced both" are just silly.

    The example was extreme admittedly but it is an analogy (which is supposed to illustrate the point you are making by comparing it to something that someone is far less likely to agree with) referring to the idea that you can't know what something will be like without experiencing it.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Of course you take each source of info based on its individual merits, but statements like "you can't possibly know - you haven't experienced both" are just silly.
    Surely in principle this is not the case when you have two things that are only very subtley different. Sure if it's something like "would you prefer living in the countryside or the city?" But, I think it can be a reasonable thing to say if two things are sufficiently similar. Whether Oxford colleges are sufficiently similar might be questionable I suppose.

    The example was extreme admittedly but it is an analogy (which is supposed to illustrate the point you are making by comparing it to something that someone is far less likely to agree with) referring to the idea that you can't know what something will be like without experiencing it.
    I don't think sensible people on here talk about not being able to know what something will be like without experiencing it, but the question here is telling the difference between two similar things where you think you'll enjoy one and not the other.

    This is actually a really silly argument.
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    (Original post by Teebs)
    Surely in principle this is not the case when you have two things that are only very subtley different. Sure if it's something like "would you prefer living in the countryside or the city?" But, I think it can be a reasonable thing to say if two things are sufficiently similar. Whether Oxford colleges are sufficiently similar might be questionable I suppose.



    I don't think sensible people on here talk about not being able to know what something will be like without experiencing it, but the question here is telling the difference between two similar things where you think you'll enjoy one and not the other.

    This is actually a really silly argument.
    So you can form an opinion on something if its different, but you cannot if its similar? :confused:

    I sort of would dispute that all colleges are really that similar - there are lots of factors to be considered (however, i don't really see how similarity is relevant - you still make a decision based on the same reasoning you would for something major).

    Also, 'no one can know what both (experiences) are like" has been used as reasoning to close threads before.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    So you can form an opinion on something if its different, but you cannot if its similar? :confused:
    If you've got nothing more than hearsay to go on? Sure, yeah!

    To use another analogy your analogy is like saying, which would you prefer: steak or icecream? Steak and icecream are very different things. There are good steaks and bad steaks, and good and bad icecreams - but you can probably hazard a guess at which you prefer, just like without having experienced torture you can probably make a decision, because the possibilities are so wildly different.

    The real question is more like "which would you prefer? The carrot cake or the courgette cake?" Both cakes are fairly similar to begin with. You don't have any information about them beyond the manufacturers' views - and those are fairly similar (along the lines of moist, spicy, and tasty...) You can't possibly make an informed decision, because the differences are so small - and you have no idea whether the differences you've heard or true or not - and because the differences between them 'overlap' (so that one carrot cake may be spicier than one courgette cake, but also the reverse... and so that one college may be more academic/social/leftwing/musical than another college in one year... but not in every year).
 
 
 
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